Friday, February 17, 2012
Williams Arena, home of the University Of Minnesota Men’s Basketball Program.
Williams Arena opened in 1928, and is by far the oldest basketball arena in the Big Ten Conference. All other Big Ten schools except Northwestern play in modern, characterless facilities.
With its notorious raised floor and frightening decibel levels of crowd noise, Williams Arena is anathema to visiting teams. Most Big Ten teams claim that their annual games in Minneapolis are the least-attractive road games of the conference season.
Nonetheless, the Golden Gophers have not won a Big Ten Championship in Men’s Basketball since 1997. In that year, Minnesota easily won the Big Ten Title and made it all the way to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. Minnesota’s 1997 conference championship and NCAA victories were to be wiped from the record books a few years later when it was discovered that Coach Clem Haskins’s program had been engaged in long-term and rampant academic cheating.
The Minnesota basketball program has yet to recover from the Haskins scandal—which is as things should be.